Wednesday 1 November 2023

Dreary Daniel and His Drewery Diesel

Dreary Daniel and his Drewery diesel pull a short rake of empties out of the canal wharf siding before reversing up the 1 on 20 grade into the colliery on the right. It’s one of the steepest unassisted gradients apparently, but just a handful of wagons isn’t really an issue, for the wagons going up are empty. 

Really wet days can be slightly more of a challenge, especially when water and oil form a really slippery buttery emulsion which limits things to only 3 empty wagons going up. But coming down with anything up to 10 fully loaded wagons can be quite exciting, for even with the locomotive wheels locked the train will continue slide on its own. But that’s half the fun, for otherwise Daniel’s life is a little dull, he being a keen stamp collector and hobbyists tile-grouter on his days off. 

In the past there was talk of building an aerial conveyor to transport the coal from the colliery to the wharf, but these days there is unlikely to be any further investment. At Polbrook Gurney Colliery the coal seams, like many of those in the Somerset coalfield are very thin, erratic and difficult to mine, so it’s likely that the colliery close soon. 


Producing this level of drivel requires constant lubrication…

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